Eleven is a hard year.

One time, MyFriendJen told me that the hardest years are 11 and 16 (she has an older daughter for reference). And I was like, “11? Really?”


Gal Smiley is poised to turn 11 in a couple of months. Here’s what 11 means:

  • No one ever lets you do anything you want;
  • When you do get to do something you want, it never lasts long enough;
  • Everyone in your family is suddenly just so annoying all the time;
  • Conveying your annoyance through sulking and pouting does not seem to work, for no explainable reason;
  • Your friends are never home when you call them, and when they are, you aren’t allowed to have them over for long enough, and when it’s time for them to go home and you throw a fit, you get in trouble, which is annoying and wrong;
  • Everyone else gets stuff all the time, and you are getting nothing;
  • There is some mysterious limit on both screen time and the eating of treats that should be a LOT higher, and then when you fronce off to your room and slam the door in a perfectly reasonable expression of how political change is required in this household, you get a “talking to,” which is stupid and boring;
  • Come to think of it, everything is stupid and boring.

We lived through 11 last year with the Captain. At the time we wondered what had come over him, and if this was his personality from now on. Then he turned 12 and was magically restored to a considerate, friendly boy who wanted to do family stuff with us again. So there is hope, but it certainly is going to be a long year.

REALLY looking forward to 16, I’m sure.

6 thoughts on “Eleven

  1. My daughter is partway through 11 and is completely delightful. I think they all go through different things at different times. My 13yo girl is delightful too, but boy middle school can be a challenge. Wishing you a happy 11yo and all the other ages too!

    1. That’s very hopeful! I’m really hoping this is a short-lived phase – at least our oldest did come out of it eventually. We start middle school with him in September and I’m sure that will be a whole new adventure, EEP.

  2. My daughter was more like Finola’s…11 was lovely, 12 has had its share of flouncing out of the room. She has a death stare that has gotten her more than one talking to! Still, she’s mostly still lovely.

  3. I found the oldest and her dad started butting heads a bit more around 11. That is a work in progress, but it has settled down considerably. Thirteen so far has been pretty great!

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